Hookah vs. Bong: Key Differences

Why stick to blunts when there are various devices that can elevate your smoking experience? Whether you are a tobacco or cannabis enthusiast, we recommend experimenting and learning new smoking methods.

Even though it’s 2022 and the world is oriented toward novelty, some things are all-time classics. This includes hookahs and bongs. Both have existed for many centuries and, in the beginning, were used mainly by shamans, nobility, or intellectuals.

Everybody has access to these devices today, so why not try them out? Read our comparison of hookah vs. bong to get more informed on the topic and learn how to boost your next smoking session.

The Meaning of Hookah

Hookahs were invented in Persia around 1500 AD and quickly gained worldwide popularity. Today they go by dozens of names like narghile, argileh, shisha, goza, and hubble-bubble.

People primarily used hookahs for smoking tobacco, hashish, and cannabis. Nowadays, the most popular option is flavored tobacco, known as shisha – a syrupy and soft texture.

The shisha is burnt with heated charcoal, creating smoke that travels inside the hookah chamber. There it’s filtered by water to provide a smoother hit. When you inhale, the filtered smoke travels toward the exit hose made of real or synthetic leather. 

The Meaning of Bong

Just like hookahs, smoking bongs is an age-old tradition. The earliest bong is over 2,400 years old, and shamans used it in Scythia tribes. However, this differs from the modern-day bong most know and use.

Bongs also use a water filtration system to smooth out the sensation. However, they burn dry cannabis herbs instead of shisha and are primarily used for getting intense cannabis hits. Read our comprehensive guide to bongs to learn more about this intricate weed-smoking device.


Hookah vs. Bong: Key Differences

The Key Differences

Read our rundown on the hookah vs. bong key differences before you visit our online headshop to purchase your ideal smoking device. Let’s jump straight into the 3 major differences you should know.


Both hookahs and bongs are large and would look amazing as décor. They are the perfect centerpiece for any vintage-styled home. However, bongs are significantly smaller and thus easier to transport.

On the other hand, hookahs are more practical for social gatherings. Unlike bongs, you can connect multiple hoses to one hookah, so many people can smoke simultaneously.  

Heating Method

Bongs and hookahs heat their substances very differently. To start a bong, you just need to place the dry herb in the tiny glass bowl attached to the bong and heat it with a lighter or matches.  

With hookahs, you need to purchase separate hookah charcoal, heat it on a burner or stove, and place it on top of the shisha.


As mentioned above, bongs only use dry herbs. Even though they can use any type of herb, cannabis is what they are mostly known for.  

On the other hand, hookahs use shisha – a liquid mix with tobacco, flavors, VG, and other substances. Simply put, one is for getting high, while the other is for seasoning your smoking sessions.


Hookahs are famous for their soothing flavoring combos. You can find shisha with various flavors like apple, cinnamon, grape, lemon, or mint.

Bongs, on the other hand, are not that flavor-friendly. Here you only smoke a dry herb without any additional substances. However, you can spice up your bong by infusing the water with flavors. This, however, will not provide as strong a taste as the hookah.

What To Choose?

So, which one is the right choice for you? If you want a more cannabis-friendly option, you should choose a bong. But a hookah will do a better job if you’re planning a get-together.

Read also:
Bongs vs. Joint
Bubbler vs. Bongs
Pipes Vs. Bongs
Dab Rig vs. Bongs
Bongs vs. Vapes
Dry Herb Vaporizer vs. Bong
Beaker Bongs vs. Straight

Skip to content